Finding Thyme to Cook

Thyme is of the Essence

Berry Crumble Bars

Berry Crumble Bars

Adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking

So I make these delicious little snack bars —  a filling of raspberry jam mixed with dried sour cherries nestled between a perfect oat crust, and the first thing out of my husband’s mouth . . . “Hmmm they remind me of something . . . . Pop Tarts!”  Geez, you mean I could have popped two Pop Tarts in the toaster and he would have been satisfied?    He of course back-peddled a bit to let me know it was the consistency of the filling that reminded him of Pop Tarts.   I didn’t really get it, but I really wasn’t too offended, because some of my closest friends love Pop Tarts.  I haven’t had one since I was 12, and I am not one to quibble over something so subjective.  I prefer this simple healthier (2 sticks of butter?)  preservative free snack bar with the crispy oat crust/topping and fruity filling.  It’s the perfect balance of richness, sweetness and tartness, however it does require a bit more effort  than Pop Tarts.

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups old fashioned oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks cold, unsalted butter – cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 16 ounce jar of good quality seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 cup dried sour cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 9×13 inch with foil across the bottom and up the two long sides, then lightly coat with melted butter or oil.

Place flour, oats, brown sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low speed until well combined.

Add the cold butter and mix on low speed until . . .

mixture looks like wet sand and starts to form clumps.

Divide the dough in half and pat one half into an even layer in the prepared pan. Set the other half aside.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and crisp.  Transfer to a rack and cool for 20 minutes.

Place jam in medium bowl and stir until smooth to break up lumps.

Stir in cherries.

When crust has cooled, spread the jam mixture evenly on top, spreading all the way to the edges.

Sprinkle the remaining dough evenly over the jam.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Transfer to rack and cool completely for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Lift the bars by the foil and place on cutting surface to cut into bars.

Keep in airtight container for 4 days at room temperature.

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